At the last general election, support for the Liberal Democrats was buoyed by more than just Cleggmania: the party enjoyed particularly strong support from scientists and science commentators. Much of this was on the strength of Evan Harris’s foregrounding of evidence-based policy and support for reform of the outdated libel laws that saw author Simon Singh sued by the British Chiropractic Association. In the run up to the election, the party was endorsed by Richard Dawkins, and polls by Nature and Chemistry World revealed a majority of their readers saw our party as those most likely to table science-friendly policies.
Mark Henderson (author of The Geek Manifesto), wrote:
The Lib Dems have so far made the strongest case for the science vote. The extra detail that Clegg has now provided reinforces the view that they have most to offer.
As an association, we’ve already been approached by several PPCs with strong science credentials to ask if we can lend any resources to their individual election campaigns. We have decided to take advantage of this opportunity and run a selection process for six ‘Strategic Seats’ as the first step in our general election campaign.
To be considered for one of the six seats, PPCs should to send the following to email@example.com:
- Name and constituency
- A photograph
- A brief bio (up to 200 words) outlining your scientific credentials
- One pro-science policy that you would fight for if (re)elected
- One example of poor science policy (from the UK or abroad) that illustrates the policies you would seek to fight against if (re)elected
The Aldes committee will select our slate of 6 candidates and build additional support through:
- Directing donations and volunteers towards their campaigns
- Direct donations from Aldes
- Seeking media coverage for the Team Science campaign
- Driving engagement with the science and engineering community
Any PPCs who wish to be considered should submit an entry as soon as possible. The chosen candidates will be announced on 1 November.
We are proud of our party’s record in protecting investment in science and engineering during an austerity government and are pleased that there was mention of longer-term thinking on the science budget in the Pre-Manifesto Document (though would like stronger commitments). With your help, we’d like to make sure that we are able to make a clear case to scientists and engineers in research and industry that the Lib Dems have a distinctive and progressive offering in this area. Anyone interested in helping out with the campaign can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post originally appeared on Lib Dem Voice.